Erie County Legislator John Mills, Town Councilman Paul Cooper, Village of Angola Mayor Howard Frawley, Joseph Pisarski, president of the Evans Historical Society and others at the now historic Pioneer Cemetery.
A formal dedication of the Town of Evans Pioneer Cemetery was held on site on Oct. 20. The Town now has the distinction of having another site placed on the State and National Registers of Historic Places. The dedication ceremony included a welcome from Town of Evans Supervisor Keith E. Dash, the Pledge of Allegiance with colors was provided by Town of Evans American Legion Newcomb Long Post No. 928 and local Boy Scout Troop No. 421. A dedication prayer was offered by Sandra Brant, Town Planning Director, followed by a salute to Revolutionary and Civil War Soldiers buried in the cemetery, as well as past and present Veterans, including those currently in harms way.
As Dash unveiled the dedication marker that reads: Pioneer Cemetery 1810-1928. Burial ground of early settlers in Evans including Revolutionary and Civil War Veterans. Placed on State and National Registers of Historic Places – 2011. Town of Evans Historical Society – 2012, he stated “This event now secures our heritage for future generations, as well as insures grant funding for its continued preservation.”
Remarks from honored guests followed, which included Erie County Legislator John Mills, Town Councilman Paul Cooper, Village of Angola Mayor Howard Frawley and Joseph Pisarski, president of the Evans Historical Society, which has been instrumental in continuing to improve the cemetery and assist the town in its efforts to register the site. “With the help of many volunteers, the society hopes to continue its efforts to make this cemetery a respectable and honorable place for those that have left us a legacy,” said Pisarski.
Pioneer Cemetery on North Main Street in Evans, which is the site of several soldiers from the Revolutionary and Civil wars, was named a National Historic Place, and a plaque was recently placed to honor its designation.
Pioneer Cemetery is the burial ground of many early settlers, Revolutionary War and Civil War soldiers. The first burial in 1810 was a two year old boy named Sawyer Barrell. Several members of his family are also interred there. Another notable person, Asa Ames the famous sculptor, is also buried at the cemetery. The last burial was Loren Avery in 1928.
After the original owners, the Methodist and Congregational Churches (that were located next to the cemetery and later on Gold Street) abandoned the cemetery; it became the responsibility of the town. The designation on the State and National Register of Historic Places resulted from extensive work by the Evans Planning office and the Evans Supervisor’s office, with volunteer assistance from Wendel Companies.